So in late summer 2012 we noticed that there was a new crack in the basement wall.
And then we noticed that the door into the garage had started rubbing (top right).
We called in the guys with a laser level and they found that the far corner of the house was an inch lower than the near corner.
So before we knew it, what looked like this . . .
Became this . . .
Once they were down to the footer, they used an impact drill to make a series of holes to remove a chunk.
They smoothed out the footer directly under the wall and put in a bracket.
Then a big hydraulic ram was attached to the bracket.
And they used the weight of the house to push these steel pieces into the ground, three feet at a time. All but one of ours went down 45 feet (the one stopped at 30).
When the hydraulic pressure got up to 5,000 psi and the pier stopped going down they declared it "solid" and attached a cap.
The piers have to be no more than six feet apart. So this process was repeated 13 times.
When the piers were all set, a small hydraulic ram was attached to each pier.
And the rams were daisy-chained together . . .
And a little electric hydraulic pump was attached.
After four days of digging and drilling and hydraulic pressing, they "bumped" the electric pump and lifted the corner of the house. After each "bump" we checked the doors and walls and the laser level. The "lift" was done in 15 minutes.
The silver lining in this was that we got a top-drawer drain tile on the uphill side of the house. It started with a big sump tube.
A sheet of dimpled plastic was attached to the wall and capped. Any water that gets behind it will run down to the footer.
The trench was filled about 6 inches above the footer with pea gravel.
The trench was back filled and tamped down.
That's the sump outlet at the bottom. The funny white pipe is a freeze proof connection to a sump pump under the basement stairs.
They pulled out the laser level again and put pins in the wall for future reference.
When the lift was complete the crack in the basement wall didn't quite close up. But the vibration from the packer as they backfilled the trench closed it the rest of the way.
We poured a larger pad so that we'll have the option of setting the garbage hoppers outside.
The new deck is wider so that the steps aren't so goofy.
Iron rails are under construction - check back in a month or so to see them. All the grass and plantings will be done in the spring.